Colorado coach Jon Embree has indefinitely suspended five defensive players for violations of team rules just days before the program is scheduled to face Stanford and Heisman Trophy frontrunner Andrew Luck on the road, a source told the Daily Camera.
All five players -- Parker Orms, Ayodeji Olatoye, Paul Vigo, Josh Moten and Liloa Nobriga -- were notified of the decision on Wednesday and the entire team was told during a post-practice team meeting.
None of the problems that led to the suspensions involved the police, but the rules violations were serious enough that CU is expected to announce today that none of the five will play again this season.
Whether the players remain with the program beyond this season remains to be seen.
All five players were recruited to CU by former coach Dan Hawkins. Four of the five are third-year sophomores and members of the 2009 recruiting class.
Moten is a redshirt freshman who was suspended by Hawkins for the second half of last season after an incident with a former girlfriend. He was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.
Four of the five players are defensive backs, an area of the team already devastated this year by injuries.
Embree and his assistants were forced to use two former offensive players in the secondary last week in a loss to Washington State. Those players will remain on defense the rest of the year.
Orms was a starting cornerback before suffering a leg injury that has kept him out of recent games.
A former local high school star at Wheat Ridge, Orms was coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament that spoiled his 2010 season.
Nobriga is a linebacker who emerged in the second half of the 2010 season and finished as the team's seventh-leading tackler. He hasn't played in a game this season.
Vigo was seen leaving the Dal Ward Center Wednesday afternoon before practice carrying multiple bags, including a large black trash bag slung over his shoulder that appeared to be filled with clothing.
Embree promised to hold players to a high standard when he was hired in December. He has followed through on the promise throughout his first year at his alma mater.
Embree cut ties with former tight ends Harold Mobley and Henley Griffon at the end of spring ball because of unspecified off-the-field issues.
He suspended offensive lineman Bryce Givens in January when Givens was charged with vandalism in Denver and he later kicked Givens off the team when he was arrested for his alleged involvement in a robbery in Boulder this summer.
During a wide-ranging offseason interview in the spring with the Camera, Embree predicted there would be attrition in his program initially because some players would either decide on their own that his expectations were too much or their actions would decide for them.
He promised to make it hard to be a part of the program.
"It's going to be hard because you have to go to class every day," he said in that spring interview. "It's going to be hard because you have to sit in the first three rows. I don't want your iPod on or your iPad or your laptop. I want you there, I want you prepared. I want you to have a pen, paper, book. I want you prepared and I want you to engage.
"It's going to be hard because of what you're going to do in the weight room and what's going to be demanded of you as a football player, how we expect you to study and prepare for the game. That's going to be hard for the guys because that requires consistency and discipline and they don't have that."
Embree announced Wednesday that true freshman linebacker Woodson Greer will travel and likely see his first college playing time this week. He said other defenders are also practicing multiple positions in case they are needed to fill in for an injured teammate during a game.